One can create a more self-sufficient home through a variety of ways: it might mean installing a system of solar panels or a way to harvest rainwater, reuse graywater or find some way to incorporate the growing of food.
Multidisciplinary Vienna- and Beijing-based design firm Penda are proposing this compact house that features a series of roof terraces where food will be grown by the homeowners.
Slated to be built sometime during this year for a couple and their young family who plan to live and work in the countryside near Kassel, Germany, the proposed project stacks a food-producing garden on top of the living spaces, in an effort to bring some greenery back in, say the designers:
Whenever architects design a building, they take an area away that used to belong to nature. We try to give this space back to plants on the roof. At the same time we provide a gardening system for the owners with greenhouses in winter and rows of planters for the rest of the year.
The roof's unique interlocking form is inspired by the concept of yin and yang, a Chinese symbol of how apparent dualities are actually interconnected. On an aesthetic and formal level, the undulating shape will help the house blend in with its natural surroundings. On a more practical level, terracing will allow sunlight, water and the square footage to be distributed more efficiently within the building's footprint. The garden will consist of planters sized for the growing of fruit, vegetables and herbs, while the sloping profile of the roof walls will guide rainwater down to a holding tank for watering food plants.
Inside, the home's ground floor includes a covered parking spot for one car, a kitchen and dining area, the children's bedroom, the master bedroom, and an home office space.
Up on the second floor, there's another workspace dedicated to building miniature models, and another mezzanine area that functions as the family lounge. It's from here that there are a flight of steps -- integrated with seating and storage -- that lead up to the roof garden.
This isn't the only proposal that Penda has in the works: there is the recent Toronto Timber Tower proposal that's a "stackable high-rise," and this stackable, modular tent hotel made out of locally sourced bamboo. To see more, visit Penda.